Typically in the world of sports top draft picks usually sign endorsement deals with their “dream” brand or main stream basketball brands such as Nike, Jordan, Adidas or Under Armor. This summer a very unexpected yet popular brand made a giant leap back into the basketball shoe marketing business. Puma a brand who has not signed any NBA players since Vince Carter in 1998 made a jump and signed not 1… not 2… not 3… but 4 first round draft picks from the 2018 NBA draft.
#1 overall pick Deandre Ayton, #2 overall pick Marvin Bagley, #14 overall pick Michael Porter Jr, and #16 overall pick Zhaire Smith were the rookies that Puma landed this offseason. Puma began the summer of signing all of these lottery picks first by signing Marvin Bagley 5 year contact in which brings Bagley $2-3 million dollars in each year. Shortly after the signing of Bagley, the rest of the guys followed up shortly by signing their deals to Puma as well.
With targeting these younger athletes Puma hopes to begin to attract more up and coming athletes in the future. Not only was Bagley’s contract the largest rookie shoe endorsement dealsince Kevin Durant’s in 2007 it also came with an commitment from Puma to a grassroots infrastructure with the Bagley family that will be centered around skill devilment for the next generation of AAU players.
It dis not stop there for Puma, along side of these lottery picks Puma also signed two players that already have a name for theirselves in the league. One of those players is Spurs small forward Rudy Gay who signed his deal with Puma on June 20th becoming Pumas first vertern athlete for their resurgence as a competitive basketball shoe brand. This deal was a no brainer for Gay to sign because he is also signed to Roc Nations agency which is ran by rapper Jay Z who was selected as the new face of the brand earlier in the year.
The latest addition to the Puma team was Terry Rozier Celtics back up Point Guard who had a breakout playoff run after the injury to all star guard Kyrie Irving. Terry may not be a veteran but with his unique on and off the court style he will surely benefit to the Puma brand to try to make them a front runner in basketball sneakers for the first time in history.
Already with their established and trending street apparel, the Puma brand definitely is making strides in the right direction to jump back into the basketball sneaker market as well. Do you believe Puma will ever become a top 3 basketball sneaker brand ?
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On Monday Night the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavailers Summer League squads took the floor and put on an absolute show in a double overtime thriller ending in a final score of 112-109 with the Lakers on top to advance to the Las Vegas Summer League championship on Tuesday night. Despite the loss for the Cavaliers this organization has nothing to hang their head about, because their lottery pick out of The University of Alabama Collin “The Youngbull” Sexton showed why he takes on the nickname “The Youngbull” and that he is ready to become the new face of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Here’s a clip from the end of regulation when “The YoungBull” took on the challenge of defending the Lakers Josh Hart who scorched the Cavaliers and finished with a game high 37 points and 9 rebounds for the final shot.
Just looking at Sextons face on this play you can see the toughness, fire, and passion that he brings to the game, which is why he takes on the name “The Youngbull”. All night Sexton was doing everything possible to put his team in the position to win whether it was scoring, assisting, or defending. Sexton was not shy from the big moment at in the double overtime thriller knocking down big time shots from all over the floor for his Cavaliers squad. In a post game interview Josh Hart tipped his hat and emphasized how tough and relentless Sexton is as a player. Collin ended the game with 27 points to close out his terrific summer league, despite the departure of LeBron James this offseason the Cavaliers organization and fanbase defiantly has something to look forward to this season in Collin “The YoungBull” Sexton.
NBA Summer league kicked off last week in Las Vegas and just like any other year fans were excited to see their favorite franchises top draft picks finally out there in action. Similar to the 2004 draft class who highlighted NBA potential hall of famers such as Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony this 2018 daft class was believed to have just as many franchise changing players if not more. The players finally took the court and instantly shined Deandre Ayton showed signs of both greatness and why he was the first pick in the NBA draft averaging 16 PPG and 11 RPG , and even in an interview when asked what were his expectations for
the 2018-2019 NBA season was not shy to state how he wants to be the first rookie since Blake Griffin in 2011 to play in the all-star game. Ayton was not the only big guy out there doing damage in Vegas these past few weeks, #2 pick Marvin Bagley and #4 pick Jaren Jackson Jr. also had very big performances. Bagley went on to average 10.4 PPG and 5.8 RPG before being sidelined by a bruised pelvic bone in the Kings 71-63 loss to the Phoenix Suns after scoring 15 points in that game. Jackson Jr has helped his team reach the Las Vegas Summer League semi finals while averaging 12.8 PPG and 6.6 RPG. Jackson has shown signs of both being a defensive presence on one end and the ability to stretch the floor at the other end. While the big fellas are down low doing damage you also have another top 5 pick in Trae Young who was selected by the Dallas Mavericks and traded to the Hawks for Real Madrid star Luka Doncic who did not make an appearance in summer league. Young had a lot of eyes on him in both college and coming into the NBA because of his long range shooting ability and his ability to get other players involved in the game. Instant Stephan Curry comparison when watching Trae Young play and after facing early struggles in summer league Young went on to average 15.1 PPG and 5.7 APG during summer league and also showed flashes of why the Steph Curry comparison is made so often. After watching these 4 top 5 draft picks these fast few weeks in summer league and the NBA season slowly approaching us it leaves us with one question; Which one of these Young stars will Have the best rookie season ?